Re: Schizophrenia

Todd N Nims (nimstod@MAIL.AUBURN.EDU)
Wed, 2 Nov 1994 21:30:07 -0600

Has he been clinically diagnosed w/ schizophrenia? Im a little
skeptical; schizophrenia is severely debilitating disease. It destroys
the inside of the brain. It isnt something that can be turned off
or on. You cant just say "Boy, today might have some life threatening
issues in it.....I guess I should kick in the old schizophrenia." Maybe
he just hallucinates because he is alone, cold, tired, and suffering from
lack of oxygen. To have schizophrenia involves quite a bit more than
seeing and hearing things.

Todd N. Nims
Auburn University, AL

On Wed, 2 Nov 1994, Scott Holmes wrote:

> Today's (11/2/94) LA Times has an article on Reinhold Messner. For
> those of you who've never heard of him, he is often considered the world's
> "greatest" mountaineer. As an introduction he was the first to climb
> Mt. Everest solo and without supplemental oxygen, and was the first
> to climb all of the world's peaks over 8,000 meters usually alone and
> always without oxygen. He never uses bolts, either.
> Anyway, he describes himself as a schizophrenic and considers the condition
> as helpful in what he does. I'm curious about what anthropologists, ]
> particularly those of you experienced with shamanistic cultures think about
> his ideas.
> Here is a section of the article:
> "After his brother was killed on Nanga Parbat, Messner still felt his
> presence to the point that he could smell him. On Nanga Parbat the second
> time, he walked behind his father and talked with his brother. During a
> storm on Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world, he thought
> a group of Japanese were securing the tent with stones. In Antartica, he
> walked beside himself.
> Suffice it to say he suffers severe hallucinations, though he would
> almost certainly take issue with the word `suffer'.
> `It was often like this,' Messner said. `[On Nanga Parbat after Gunther
> disappeared], and totally at the end of possibilities, I would see from time
> to time a horse with a rider and I was sure now that I could get help. But
> there was always only a stone or a tree. One moment I would realize I was
> trapped by a hallucination, in the next I would again decide it was reality.
> `But this is not a disease,' he said. `Schizophrenia can be a great help.
> `I believe that thousands and thousands of years ago, humans living in a
> dangerous world with dangerous animals could go into schizophrenic states
> in difficult situations. If you do something alone, and difficult, you can
> speak with a second one, and discuss your problems. A saint in the
> Himalayas or alone in the desert has this ability to become schizophrenic".
> I realize this topic may be another old chestnut but I think this is the
> first time I've come across what appears to be a first-hand account of the
> practical benefits of schizophrenia.
> ----------- There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, ----------------
> Scott Holmes <> Informix 4GL Applications
> ---------------- Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. ------------------------